Results: Stock Brightness And Contrast
Before calibrating both panels, we measure zero and 100 percent signals at both ends of the brightness control range. This shows us how contrast is affected at the extremes of a monitor's luminance capability.
The VP2770-LED can output a fair amount of light at its max brightness setting, exceeding ViewSonic's spec by about 10 percent. Luminance over 300 cd/m2 can compete with high ambient light levels in the workspace. The Samsung panel is a little less bright, falling short of the manufacturer’s 285 cd/m2 spec.
Black levels hold up well on both screens, but Samsung does extremely well with a low value of .1605 cd/m2.
The four monitors we've reviewed most recently demonstrate good black levels, even at the highest brightness setting. Among IPS panels, the VP2770-LED and S27970D do extremely well.
Low black levels like these have a positive effect on the overall contrast ratio.
Samsung is the winner here with a high contrast ratio of 1483.3:1, although ViewSonic isn’t all that far behind.
Turning brightness to the minimum setting tells us how a monitor will perform in lower lighting conditions. This is a configuration you might use in a completely darkened room, for example.
While the ViewSonic maintains enough luminance to be practical, the Samsung does not. At just over 58 cd/m2, the S27B970D’s image is just too dim.
However, this does have a positive effect on black levels. The darker your room, the lower you want your black level to be.
Samsung is the black level king, with a result that’s almost immeasurable. We had to average several readings, since the i1Pro was near its lower practical limit. Again, ViewSonic is not far behind.
Both monitors render an extremely high contrast ratio at their minimum brightness settings. While Samsung achieves a high figure, it comes at the expense of a very dim picture.
While you could run the S27B970D this way, the image is very dark and would likely contribute to eye fatigue over time. Turning up the brightness slightly would alleviate this, yet still maintain a very high contrast ratio.